Internet radio (also web radio, net radio, streaming radio, e-radio, IP radio & online radio) is a digital audio service transmitted via the Internet. Broadcasting on the Internet is usually referred to as webcasting since it is not transmitted broadly through wireless means. It can either be used as a stand-alone device running through the internet, or as a software running through a single computer system. Internet radio is generally used to communicate and easily spread messages through the form of talk. It is distributed through a wireless communication network connected to a switch packet network (the internet) via a disclosed source.’
Internet radio involves streaming media, presenting listeners with a continuous stream of audio that typically cannot be paused or replayed, much like traditional broadcast media; in this respect, it is distinct from on-demand file serving. Internet radio is also distinct from podcasting, which involves downloading rather than streaming.
Internet radio services offer news, sports, talk, and various genres of music—every format that is available on traditional broadcast radio stations. Many Internet radio services are associated with a corresponding traditional (terrestrial) radio station or radio network, although low start-up and ongoing costs have allowed a substantial proliferation of independent Internet-only radio stations.
How to choose the best internet radio for you
You don’t actually need a dedicated internet radio receiver to tune into your favourite stations over the internet. There are plenty of apps and websites that let you listen on your smartphone, tablet or computer. However, a dedicated internet radio is more intuitive and convenient to use, and may well have better sound quality.
The units themselves come in a range of different form factors. There are smaller units with built-in clocks for the bedroom, as well as portable and tabletop designs, and larger stereo systems. Naturally, different designs have different strengths. The smaller units tend to be mono rather than stereo, although sound quality can still be very good – let’s face it, we frequently listen to music through mono Bluetooth speakers these days.
Portable models also tend to be more compact and able to run off batteries, while larger units have the potential for a bigger, warmer sound. Whether you want something you can carry around the house or a static unit to slot into an existing hi-fi system, there’s an internet radio to suit.
The other key question is how you control the device. Does it use buttons, a dial or a touchscreen to switch stations or adjust the volume? How easy is it to browse through the available streams and find new music? How many preset favourites can you store, and how are they accessed?
What other features should I look out for?
Many internet radios can double up as a standard Bluetooth speaker, which is useful if you don’t already own one. Some models support Spotify Connect too, so you can easily browse and choose music on your phone; they may also be able to stream tracks from an iTunes or DLNA-compliant NAS or media server in the home.
Finally, remember to check the physical connections. A USB port or SD card slot gives you the option of streaming tracks from your own media collection. Phone or jack outputs let you hook up to an external amplifier for extra volume or quality – and a headphone output can be handy for late-night listening.
Radio in 2018
If you love listening to radio, an item you shouldn’t miss out on is an Internet radio. An Internet radio gives you access to many more interesting radio stations you could ever imagine. Therefore, we have come up with a list of the top best Internet radios in 2018 in hopes that you can find the ideal Internet Radio for your price point preference, and the features you need.
Amazon Echo Dot
The Echo Dot doesn’t look much like a radio, but Alexa comes with the ability to play any station on TuneIn’s massive playlist, and most of the UK’s biggest broadcasters offer dedicated skills as well. Discovering new stations isn’t all that easy, as there’s no screen, and the Dot’s small size inevitably means the sound is rather quiet and lacking in bass – but you can easily connect an external speaker via the 3.5mm line out socket, or over Bluetooth. If you’re just looking for a cheap and easy way into internet radio, the Echo Dot takes some beating – and of course, you also get all the other benefits of the Echo platform, including music streaming from Amazon Music and Spotify.
Ocean Digital WR-238
Hong Kong-based Ocean Digital offers a decent range of internet radios at prices the big-name brands can’t match. The WR-238 is particularly good value, packing in an alarm clock, Bluetooth connectivity and even a 2.4in TFT display, which shows the weather while the radio’s on standby. The sound quality is surprisingly good, with plenty of oomph if not much finesse, and it’s easy to search for stations via name, country or genre. Some users have complained of occasional buffering delays or drop-out, so it might not be ideal if your wireless coverage is patchy. Overall though it’s a great little radio that looks and sounds a lot more expensive than it really is.
Pure Evoke F3
Less than 12cm high and 20cm wide, the Evoke F3 is compact enough to nestle neatly in your kitchen or bedroom – yet it packs in plenty of features. As well as FM, DAB and internet radio, it works with Spotify Connect to stream your own playlists, and can also connect directly to your phone via Bluetooth. The simple controls and 2.4in colour TFT display make it easy to find stations, and there’s a fully featured remote control bundled in. Best of all, the Evoke’s chunky, bass-ported design delivers a warmer, more rounded sound than you’d expect from its size, and we found Wi-Fi connectivity was extremely reliable, with no glitches or stutters. A classy all-rounder that’ll fit anywhere.
Roberts Radio Stream 217
The Stream 217 looks like an old-school portable radio, but it has plenty of modern features. Double alarm functions make it perfect for the bedroom, and it’ll also work as a Bluetooth speaker, or a wireless streamer via DLNA or Spotify Connect. The Undok app lets you use your smartphone to discover stations and control the radio, or you can stick with the onboard controls and 2.4in colour screen. As well as internet radio, you can pick up FM and DAB transmissions, and the sound is classic Roberts – not too bass-heavy, but clear, punchy and packed with detail. With a choice of mains or battery power, it’s a great all-rounder that can accompany you everywhere around the house.
Revo Super Connect
This high-end internet radio boasts an eye-catching vintage style. The black, white and walnut versions all look beautiful, and they don’t sound bad either, thanks to a single balanced-mode radiator driver that dishes out a warm sound with crisp highs and lashings of bass. The controls are nicely straightforward: you can either use a small joystick-style control to make your way around the sumptuous OLED display, or use the supplied remote control. The SuperConnect also makes a great Bluetooth speaker, complete with high-quality aptX streaming, and you can stream from Spotify and your own music library via DLNA. It’s an expensive bit of kit, but the marriage of sound and style is hard to resist.
Ruark R2 Mk3
Audiophiles love Ruark’s kit, both for its superb style and excellent performance – and the R2 Mk3 makes an instant impression, with its stunning handcrafted wooden cabinet and curvy lines. The text-only OLED display shows a clock when you’re not using it to select sources or find a new station, and the multi-function RotoDial makes it easy to track down and pick new online stations or switch to a DLNA or Bluetooth source. You can also stream Spotify playlists directly to the R2 Mk3 via Spotify Connect. The sound is superb, with much more space, volume and richness than you’d expect from a relatively compact tabletop unit, lending real presence to just about any kind of music. It comes in walnut, white and soft black, and if you’re feeling flush, you can even pair multiple units for a multi-room system.
Aluratek AIRMM03F Wi-Fi
Another incredible Internet radio that offers the superb crystal clear sound is this Aluratek AIRMM03F Wi-Fi Internet Radio. This product comes in the size of 11.3 x 3.3 x 6.3 inches. First of all, it is not only a Wifi radio, but also a weather forecast teller, too. Additionally, this smart device is pre-installed with 4GB memory, allowing you to store your favorite music and video with ease. It can stream from Facebook, Spotify, slacker, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and many more platforms without a problem.
The built-in alarm clock is equipped with voice recognition. With the LCD touch screen, you can have the full and easy control over this device in selecting the content. Anyways, be noted that this Internet radio device comes in another size of 7” as well.
C Crane Co CWF CC WiFi
Here arrives the stylish Internet radio receiver that allows you to search based on location, genre or even specific letters. C Crane Co CWF CC WiFi Internet Radio is a good-looking product has many useful functions such as 5 different alarm settings, sleep timer, and remote control too. It also comes with 99 station presets.
What’s more, as this product can be connected to the wifi, steaming music from PC or Mac can be done wirelessly and easily, too. And, this is one of the best wifi radios that can guarantee crystal clear audio at all times. Plus, please be noted that, the full dimension of this product is 3.9 x 6.5 x 3.9 inches.
Sangean WR-22WL AM/FM-RDS
The last yet the best product in the list that you are going to hear from us today goes the Sangean WR-22WL Internet Radio. This one comes in 3 lovely colors – black, dark walnut, and bright walnut. Its full dimension is 9.4 x 7.6 x 4.4 inches. It comes with 10 station presets. The sound that this smart radio provides is guaranteed to be jaw-dropping. Best yet, its LCD screen quite large, allowing you to read the time and station number easily. What’s more, it also comes with a built-in Bluetooth. So, you can conveniently steam your favorite music without using any connector or cable. And, comes with an IR remote, you can control this Internet Radio from a far as well. With a sleek and well-made construction, this Internet radio is definitely a lovely addition to your home.
We have just looked at the top best Internet Radios in 2018 that are sure worth every penny of the investment. With detailed information, specifications, and features of each radio highlighted, your shopping for the perfect Wi-Fi radio should now be hassle-free. Quit hesitating because none of these picks will ever disappoint you.